'Slam Diego' Strikes Again As Mike Clevinger Wins First Padres Home Start
SAN DIEGO—Mike Clevinger’s first home start with the Padres didn’t go quite as smooth as hoped.
With the way the Padres are swinging the bats, it didn’t really matter.
Wil Myers hit two home runs, including another grand slam, and the Padres steamrolled the Rockies 14-5 in Clevinger’s Petco Park debut on Tuesday.
It was the eighth time in 44 games this season the Padres have scored at least 10 runs.
“Before the game I even said we’re going to score two touchdowns tonight, just joking around,” Clevinger said. “And we did.”
Clevinger, the Padres’ signature acquisition during a frenetic trade deadline, allowed five hits and four runs in five innings, walked one and struck out eight. He allowed a three-run home run to Nolan Arenado in the first inning to put the Padres in an early 3-0 hole and labored through 25 pitches in the opening frame.
Luckily, he had “Slam Diego” on his side.
The Padres, baseball’s highest-scoring offense, immediately responded with five runs in the bottom of the first, including Myers’ second grand slam of the season.
On Mujica’s second pitch of his major league career, Myers drove a high fly ball into the right field stands for the go-ahead grand slam, the Padres’ seventh of the season.
No other team has more than three.
“I think that’s a little bit of luck that goes into that in situations,” said Myers, who added a solo homer in the seventh, “but I think it just shows what this team is very capable of doing.
“It’s a very explosive offense with a lot of great players in it. Up and down the lineup, one through nine can really go out and do some damage. That’s really been the biggest factor this year.”
The Padres added five more runs in the second inning—capped by a three-run homer by Nola, another of the Padres’ deadline acquisitions—and gave Clevinger the breathing room he needed to settle in.
With the lead at his back, Clevinger settled in after his rocky start and retired 11 straight batters, including six via strikeout, in a stretch that spanned from the end of the first inning to the fifth. The Rockies tacked on another run against him on a Trevor Story RBI groundout, but, thanks to his offense, Clevinger still walked away comfortably with his first win as a Padre.
“We just got a different group of guys,” Clevinger said. “Just a bunch of dogs waiting to eat at all times. Going back to that inning, I gave up that home run and every single one of them … still had my back. Every single one of them had the utmost confidence in me going back out there and doing what I did. That picked me up, picked my spirits up, and that was even before they scored that five-spot. That was huge for me.”
The Padres are 5-2 since the trade deadline. Clevinger delivered a quality start in his first outing as a Padre and got the win in his second. Nola has four extra-base hits (two doubles, two home runs) in six games. Jason Castro went 2-for-4 on Tuesday and has three doubles in as many games since coming over from the Angels. Trevor Rosenthal has delivered three relief scoreless appearances since his arrival from Kansas City.
It’s still early, but the key players the Padres acquired at the deadline have all delivered so far.
“They’ve been able to come right in and be themselves and blend right in with the group,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “It’s been such a blessing honestly. It’s been a smooth transition and it’s from all parties.”